Porpoises are species of small cetaceans that are related to dolphins and whales. The term porpoise is commonly used by anglers and sailors to refer to smaller dolphins. It comes form the Latin words porcus, which means pig and piscus, which translates to fish.
Most species of porpoises live in the oceans. They are commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere as well as in other regions of Japan and China. One specie however, thrives in freshwater. The finless porpoise lives in the waters of India, Indonesia, and Japan. They also have a population in the shallow waters of the Yangtze River and the Persian Gulf.
At first glance, porpoises may look somewhat similar to a dolphin. However, both have very different physical features.
Porpoises are commonly smaller. They have a stout body with small rounded head. They can grow up to 8 feet and weigh as much as 200 kilograms.
Instead of a beak, porpoises have a blunt jaws. They also have flat and spade-shaped teeth that are often used to eat small fishes, shrimps, and squids.
Similar to other cetacean creatures, porpoises are also intelligent creatures. However, they tend to be less acrobatic and less sociable than dolphins. They are rarely held in zoos and ocean parks primarily because they are not capable of living and adapting to tank life.